Designer attacks Blairs’ bad taste

Sir Terence Conran has declared his “shock” after seeing the “dull” furnishings the Prime Minister and his wife have on show in 10 Downing Street.

Expressing his disbelief at the Blairs’ sense of style, the design guru condemned both Tony and Cherie for ignoring creativity and innovative design in their home.

Britain’s leading couple unlike Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, show no signs in their domestic quarters of supporting grass roots creative industries, Sir Terence reportedly claims.

Making his feelings known in a letter to the Independent on Sunday, the designer remarked how even President Mitterand “commissioned young designers to create furnishings” for the Elysée Palace.

Conversely, Sir Terence pointed out how the UK’s political leader has commissioned no young designers for any personal project, despite the gloomy interior of his home.

Instead the PM and his wife have chosen to stuff 10 Downing Street with boring tables and dull conformist lampshades.

“I was really shocked at the dull and expensive traditional conformity that the Blairs have chosen for No 10,” Sir Terence wrote.

His comments represent a stark contrast to the support that he as a designer, entrepreneur and restaurateur showed for Mr Blair on the eve of his election in 2001, in a letter of support to The Times.

But having founded Europe’s leading design agency and being behind big design names such as Habitat means bad taste will always be hard to swallow for Sir Terence.

As a result, the 75-year-old designer, retailer and brand behemoth believes Gordon Brown would make a better job of presenting 10 Downing Street to the public.

“Perhaps they [the Blairs] are unaware that their next-door neighbour, Gordon, is trying to support the creative industries,” Sir Terence wrote.

He reportedly continued by saying Brown’s affection for literature and simple modern furnishings make Britain’s anticipated next Prime Minister a natural champion of good taste.

Reflecting at the weekend, a spokesman for Sir Terence explained the comments sent to the Sunday newspaper referred only to the Blairs’ taste.

He added, “The thing Sir Terence wants to promote is that Gordon Brown is supporting the creative industries. Gordon Brown is so passionate about the creative industries. Isn’t it a shame Tony Blair isn’t?”


24th April 2006

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